Virtual Field Trip Presentation Overview
Five types of virtual field trips:
- Student-created project-based/inquiry learning to deepen students’ understanding and knowledge on a topic while motivating their learning on their own
- Prepare for a future field trip or learn more after a field trip
- Site-specific VFT when you can’t get there
- Teacher created VFT for broad topics
- Visit experts
Project-based/inquiry learning (Student Created)
Creating virtual field trips encourages students to see themselves as historians. When students are motivated by solving a problem, such as documenting history, uncovering the mysteries of the Egyptian Pyramids, visiting faraway lands, they are more likely to be engaged in the learning process and to remember the information gleaned from the “trip.”
You can also use this type of VFT to enhance or deepen understanding after a field trip. For children who have little or no experience with the topic, such as the Baltimore Aquarium, this type of follow up learning is essential to helping students make connections with what they already know, to what they saw and learned, to the curriculum and what they need to know to deepen their understanding of the topic. For example, students visit the US Capital and then create their own VFT combining images, narration (audio) they have created, and drawings or diagrams. They can link various online sources as well to further enhance their presentation.
Field Trip Preparation
The second type of VFT is one that helps to prepare students for an upcoming class field trip. A perfect example is the National Air and Space Museum’s web page on the Wright Brother’s First Flight exhibit, which includes a virtual map of the exhibition. This helps build background knowledge and helps students engage in deeper learning when they do go there. The brain cognitively has something to attach what they are seeing and hearing to this prior knowledge, and allows students to make the cognitive shift to deeper learning.
Site-Specific Trips When You Can’t Get There
A third category of VFT is that of one created by either others or a host location, such as a museum, with the goal of providing students with information about areas or topics that they are unable to visit as a class. The White House Virtual tour is a great example. Student could then write about what they saw and engage in research and create presentations.
Broad Topics (Teacher Created)
A fourth type would be teacher-created VFT. There are some topics that are too vast in scope to be able to visit just one location, but certain locations would enhance the students’ knowledge of the topic. The Hawaiian Islands is but one example. Contact Dr. Miller for some examples.
Lastly, we use Skype or Google Hangouts for visiting experts. Students are highly engaged during these visits when you take the class virtually to meet the expert in their workplace, but it's best to prepare them prior to the visit. Students should have prior knowledge and questions prepared about the location and topic to make it fully engaging for both the students and the presenter. http://www.teachhub.com/using-skype-classroom
Discovery Education https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/
Google Earth, http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/
US National Parks Service and State Parks, http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm
Capspace, video conferencing bridges and classroom connections, http://projects.twice.cc/
Power to Learn Guide to Virtual Field Trips http://www.powertolearn.com/articles/teaching_with_technology/taking_a_virtual_field_trip.shtml
Common Sense Media.org lesson plan for student creation of virtual field trips, http://cybersmartcurriculum.org/safetysecurity/lessons/k-1/go_places_safely/
Edutopia, article http://www.edutopia.org/virtual-field-trips
The Teachers Guide to VFT http://www.theteachersguide.com/virtualtours.html